EcosystemManager Use Cases

Executive Overview

EcosystemManager by Virima Technologies is a cloud-based, integrated IT asset & service management platform (ITAM & ITSM) that breaks down the information silos that traditionally exist within large IT departments.  This paper provides a high-level discussion of five key areas in which EcosystemManager is leveraged to transform IT operations, improve customer support, and keep up with rapidly changing business demands. 

Use Case # 1: Infrastructure Discovery

Collecting a comprehensive inventory of all IT assets is a formidable, yet vital job.  After all, you can’t manage, support, secure, and transform what you don’t know exists.  Discovery should be an automatic, repeatable and thorough process that not only finds physical assets such as servers and network equipment, but also detects things like hardware configurations, operating system info, installed software, host to host communications, and dependencies.  And since you are “discovering” your assets it should not require agents to be pre-loaded on what it is you wish to discover.

With EcosystemManager’s agentless discovery app running in your data center, you can build the most complete asset inventory and configuration management database (CMDB) possible.  And it’s done with little more than a click of the “Scan Now” button.  And because you can schedule the scans to run automatically, the information is always current.  You’ll find new assets that have come online as well as changes that have occurred to existing assets. And know which assets have gone missing.  Run EcosystemManager discovery in your environment regularly for a complete, continually up-to-date inventory of your IT assets.

Key discovery features:

  • Completely agentless – no need to load clients on the hosts you want to scan
  • Discover servers, network equipment, desktops, printers, and much more
  • Perform deep scans of physical and virtual installs of Windows, Unix, Linux, and Mac
  • Discover hundreds of hardware, OS, and software details
  • Visualize host relationships and application dependencies
  • Schedule scans for automatic detection of any changes
  • Easily export discovered data or seamlessly move it to CMDB

Use Case #2:  Configuration, Change and Release Management

One of the most difficult challenges for IT organizations with complex, rapidly changing, asset-driven environments is maintaining the integrity of the IT asset configurations.  Even intentional configuration changes can have dire consequences, as it is estimated that up to 80% of IT-related downtime is the result of a planned change.  Within IT, change is unavoidable.  Dev teams are constantly pushing out updates and new releases.  More and more data is being generated, accessed and stored driving demand for higher capacities.  Equipment gets old and needs to be replaced. It’s imperative for IT organizations to keep up with it all and not bring disruption to the business.

EcosystemManager provides a comprehensive, up-to-date baseline of your complex IT environments with automated IT asset discovery coupled with a complete Configuration Management Database (CMDB).   With its deep, agentless discovery of IT assets and configurations, application dependency mapping (ADM) and clear visualizations of relationships, EcosystemManager redefines what a configuration management program should be.  EcosystemManager also offers change and release management support functions to ensure change requests and new releases are properly vetted before occurring.  By linking all of the asset ownership and relationship information contained within the CMDB, it’s a breeze to see which stakeholders should be included in the vetting process.  Customizable workflows guide the change and release managers through the necessary approval processes.  After the changes are made EcosystemManager’s discovery will confirm that the changes were done as approved. 

Key EcosystemManager configuration, change & release management features:

  • Agentless discovery coupled with full CMDB
  • Map relationships, hierarchies, & dependencies
  • Automatically detect configuration changes
  • PinkVerifyô ITILÆ Service Asset & Configuration Management (SACM)
  • PinkVerifyô ITILÆ Change Management
  • Release Management (PinkVerifyô coming soon)
  • Change/outage calendar
  • SLA requirements tracking
  • Customizable reports & dashboards
  • Hardware asset and license management also included

Use Case #3:  IT Service Management

As companies increasingly rely on digital transformation to operate more efficiently and outpace the competition and end users expect to connect from anywhere with any device, the pressure is on IT to introduce new services and minimize disruption.  When issues do occur they must be met with very rapid resolutions.  Help desks are typically evaluated on how quickly tickets are resolved but what if you could significantly reduce the number of tickets being generated in the first place?  Additionally, what if you could cut the number of escalations required from the tickets that do come in?

EcosystemManager has the power to do that.  Its self-service portal provides end users a way to access FAQs, see what issues IT is currently working to resolve, and log and track new service requests.  It also includes customer satisfaction surveys so service desk managers know what they are doing well and what they can do better.  All of the asset and relationship data contained within the CMDB is fully leveraged by EcosystemManager’s IT Service Management (ITSM) processes.  This allows service desk operators to have greater access to information so they can discern what is due to an existing issue and what requires escalation.  EcosystemManager’s incident and problem management processes can be tied to specific assets and service owners so it’s easy to identify the correct next-level resources to respond.  Of course EcosystemManager helps you avoid future problems by making it easy to identify service request patterns and reoccurring issues. 

Key EcosystemManager IT Service Management features:

  • Self-service portal for FAQs and service requests/tracking
  • PinkVerify ITIL® Request, Knowledge, Incident & Problem Management
  • PinkVerify ITIL®  SACM & Change Managementô processes
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • KPI dashboards & detailed reporting
  • Fully leverage all discovery/CMDB asset & relationship info
  • Collaborative engagement with end users and service responders

Use Case #4:  Data Center Transformation

IT projects are a regular occurrence but sooner or later organizations are required to embark on major data center transformations (DCT), which can take months to years to complete.  Whether it’s a consolidation of many data centers into a few, a move to colocation, an infrastructure refresh, or migrating apps and services to the cloud, there is a chance for major disruption to the business.  Planning and coordination between all stakeholders- IT and business- is absolutely critical for completing a successful DCT on time and within budget. 

EcosystemManager is a multi-faceted transformation platform designed to bring people and information together. Project management establishes tasks, resource assignments, and milestone dates which are published to the project calendar.  The risk register records and maintains the risks associated with planned changes while the program heat map provides a high level view of what’s going according to plan and what isn’t.  Of course all of the asset details and relationships can be fully leveraged to identify move/dependency groups.  And because DCT by definition requires a lot of change, EcosystemManager’s change and release management functions ensure success of every new deployment.

Key EcosystemManager DCT features:

  • Project management purpose-built for IT transformations
  • Risk register & heat map
  • Resource assignment, availability & time tracking
  • Executive dashboards & detailed status reporting
  • Fully leverage all asset & relationship info
  • Collaborative engagement with all stakeholders

Use Case #5:  IT Security & Compliance Audit

Effective enterprise IT security & compliance depends on knowing about all hardware and virtual assets, such as servers, desktops, applications, databases, and middleware and their relationships. However, the parties responsible for ensuring security and compliance are usually dependent on the “owners” of underlying hardware and software to self-report the status and configuration of those assets.  ITSec can only secure what it believes to exist in the first place.  That’s why assets are easily overlooked and left vulnerable to exploits.  Compliance doesn’t have it much easier either.  How can they respond to an audit, such as for SOX or PCI, if no one can tell them for sure which assets are in scope because the full relationships are not understood?  It’s not that the IT Ops side doesn’t care about security and compliance but that enterprise IT has become so siloed that collecting, correlating and reporting this data is nearly impossible. 

EcosystemManager breaks down the information silos.  By providing accurate detailed asset configurations and easy to understand visual topologies of the relationships and dependencies between assets and business services, EcosystemManager turns information into actionable intelligence.  Security can see for themselves which operating systems are missing security patches or if vulnerable software has been installed.  Compliance auditors can report with confidence that all regulated systems are accounted for and compliant.  Establishing and maintaining baselines for asset information allows both groups to focus on the exceptions and not on time consuming and error prone data collection.

Key EcosystemManager features for security & compliance:

  • Establish a truthful baseline of assets & installed software
  • Receive notification of any asset configuration & status change
  • Map all relationships, hierarchies, & dependencies
  • Visualize which systems support specific business services and are subject to regulatory compliance or audit
  • Search for missing security patches, unapproved software, and suspicious processes/services
  • Detect if any hosts are communicating to external machines that shouldn’t be
  • Flexible reporting, customizable dashboards and ease of data importation & exportation

Summary

Today’s IT organizations certainly don’t have a lack of management and support tools.  The problem with many of the tools is that they are either too narrowly focused or too complex/costly to fully implement.  EcosystemManager helps solve “tool sprawl” and “shelfware” by being easy to deploy, support, and most importantly adopt.  EcosystemManager can eliminate a number of these tools while providing much more cohesive, accessible, and actionable information. EcosystemManager also offers a tremendous initial and ongoing value over any comparable ITSM platform. 

Consider EcosystemManager instead of:

  • Manual processes and guess work
  • Spreadsheets, documents & static diagrams
  • Generic project management tools (Microsoft Project, Smartsheets)
  • Network management tools (i.e. Nessus, Spiceworks, Solarwinds)
  • Vendor specific tools (i.e., Microsoft SCCM, VMWare vCenter App Discovery Mgr)
  • ITSM platforms with agent-based or no asset discovery (i.e., EasyVista, ManageEngine, Samanage, Landesk)
  • Expensive, complex ITSM suites (i.e. BMC, ServiceNow, Cherwell)

About Virima Technologies

As an innovator in accelerated enterprise Data Center Transformation (DCT), Virima recognized a need for improved automation in key areas of DCT programs, particularly around asset discovery, application dependency mapping, and project management.  As a result, Virima created EcosystemManager®, a cloud-based IT asset and service management platform (ITAM & ITSM) that provides automatic discovery of IT environments, a full-featured CMDB, project and risk management, and PinkVERIFY™ certified ITIL service management processes for configuration, change, incident, problem, request and knowledge management.  The result is an easy to use ITAM and ITSM SaaS platform that provides unparalleled oversight of the IT ecosystem for management, audit, compliance and Information Technology Infrastructure Library support functions.

Learn more at ecosytemmanger.com

  1. EcosystemManager is a registered trademark of Virima Technologies, Inc.  ITIL is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited. Change Management™ is registered trademark of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP). PinkVERIFY, is a registered trademark of Pink Elephant Inc.  All other brand names are property of their respective owners.
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